Thursday, January 28, 2010

I want to be with the coconuts

This is a coconut. Or at least it used to be. I smuggled it home in my luggage last year on a trip to the Florida Keys. The reason I was smuggling an eight-pound coconut (green at the time) in my luggage is because my son had specifically requested I bring him one so he could savagely cut it open and partake of its delicious, life-giving liquid. Just like Les and Bear.

So I did. And my son did partake of its delicious, life-giving liquid. One sip, a horrible face, and the rest of it went immediately down the drain. So much for the survival coconut. I hollowed it out and hung it in a tree, hoping a bird would nest in it. I think, however, our land-lubbing plains birds are either confused or frightened, because over the past year it's just been hanging there, slowly turning black.

I'm staring at it wistfully, though, as I stand here splitting wood in anticipation of yet another monster snowstorm. I remember the exact spot I picked up that coconut: a  lonely little bit of shoreline facing the lovely, mysterious, inscrutable vastness of the Atlantic. Heady stuff for an Oklahoma boy.

The week we got home from that trip we got blizzard warnings, whiteout and two feet of snow. I swore then that someday, after the kids were grown and gone I'd fulfill my newfound life's dream of moving to the Keys, living under a nice comfy bridge on US 1 and being a fishing bum.

If you've never had the opportunity to experience the unique charms of a plains-state blizzard, I'd refer you to Thomas Hobbes. Like life, a plains blizzard is generally nasty, brutish and (thankfully) short.

This will all be out of here by the weekend. Whether we will have power in its wake is another question entirely.

So here I am, holding a splitting maul and watching that coconut sway in the frigid Oklahoma wind. School's cancelled today and tomorrow and the NWS is predicting freezing rain, ten inches of blowing snow and widespread power outages.

I want to go fishing. I want to be with the coconuts.


  1. Putting aside its fundamental truth, that hurt, man. That really hurt...)

  2. You have to get the coconut at just the right time, otherwise its milk doesn't taste too good. Kind of green and planty, if that makes any sense.

    When I was in Thailand in 1990 whilst in the Marines, a buddy cracked one open and I took a sip. I remember it was kind of sweet, which made it palatable.

    That's also the first place I ever had real fresh pineapple. I don't know how many I ate. Sweet. Juicy. Fantastic.

  3. I should probably also mention that's the first time I'd ever seen them in their husks. I'd always seen them husked, though, sadly, they didn't quite resemble the "bowling ball" coconuts from cartoons. :)

  4. Man, this time of year always gets me daydreaming about South Florida and the Keys.

    Growing up in San Juan, you'd think I had my share of coconuts. But I still love 'em! Love coconut milk too. The milk should be fairly thin and watery... if it was strong, it had already turned. Then you dump the milk and eat the meat... unless it's really turned. Ack. Just watch out though, that stuff has some properties that will make you want to enjoy in moderation... or beat a fast track to the toilet.

    But coconuts be damned... a warm, sunny ocean full of lobsters and fish! That's what I need right now.